UK teacher arrested in Sudan for insulting Islam's Prophet

A British primary school teacher has been arrested in Sudan accused of insulting Islam's Prophet by letting her class of seven-year-olds name a teddy bear Mohammed.

UK teacher arrested in Sudan for insulting Islam's Prophet
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm Colleagues of Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool was arrested by police in Sudan yesterday.

"We are providing consular assistance."

Teachers at Unity High School in central Khartoum said Gibbons made an innocent mistake and simply let her pupils choose their favourite name for the toy as part of a school project.

Police arrested Gibbons on Sunday at her home inside the school premises, said Unity director Robert Boulos, after a number of parents made a complaint to Sudan's Ministry of Education.

Boulos said she had since been charged with "blasphemy", an offence he said was punishable with up to three months in prison and a fine.

A spokesman from the British Embassy in Khartoum said it was still unclear whether Gibbons had been formerly charged. "We are following it up with the authorities and trying to meet her in person," he said.

Boulos said he had decided to close down the school until January for fear of reprisals in Sudan's predominantly Muslim capital.

He added: "We are very worried about her safety.

"This was a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

The sun

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Kasım 2007, 17:49